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  • What Is Quantitative Research? | Definition, Uses & Methods

What Is Quantitative Research? | Definition, Uses & Methods

Published on June 12, 2020 by Pritha Bhandari . Revised on June 22, 2023.

Quantitative research is the process of collecting and analyzing numerical data. It can be used to find patterns and averages, make predictions, test causal relationships, and generalize results to wider populations.

Quantitative research is the opposite of qualitative research , which involves collecting and analyzing non-numerical data (e.g., text, video, or audio).

Quantitative research is widely used in the natural and social sciences: biology, chemistry, psychology, economics, sociology, marketing, etc.

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Table of contents

Quantitative research methods, quantitative data analysis, advantages of quantitative research, disadvantages of quantitative research, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about quantitative research.

You can use quantitative research methods for descriptive, correlational or experimental research.

  • In descriptive research , you simply seek an overall summary of your study variables.
  • In correlational research , you investigate relationships between your study variables.
  • In experimental research , you systematically examine whether there is a cause-and-effect relationship between variables.

Correlational and experimental research can both be used to formally test hypotheses , or predictions, using statistics. The results may be generalized to broader populations based on the sampling method used.

To collect quantitative data, you will often need to use operational definitions that translate abstract concepts (e.g., mood) into observable and quantifiable measures (e.g., self-ratings of feelings and energy levels).

Note that quantitative research is at risk for certain research biases , including information bias , omitted variable bias , sampling bias , or selection bias . Be sure that you’re aware of potential biases as you collect and analyze your data to prevent them from impacting your work too much.

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Once data is collected, you may need to process it before it can be analyzed. For example, survey and test data may need to be transformed from words to numbers. Then, you can use statistical analysis to answer your research questions .

Descriptive statistics will give you a summary of your data and include measures of averages and variability. You can also use graphs, scatter plots and frequency tables to visualize your data and check for any trends or outliers.

Using inferential statistics , you can make predictions or generalizations based on your data. You can test your hypothesis or use your sample data to estimate the population parameter .

First, you use descriptive statistics to get a summary of the data. You find the mean (average) and the mode (most frequent rating) of procrastination of the two groups, and plot the data to see if there are any outliers.

You can also assess the reliability and validity of your data collection methods to indicate how consistently and accurately your methods actually measured what you wanted them to.

Quantitative research is often used to standardize data collection and generalize findings . Strengths of this approach include:

  • Replication

Repeating the study is possible because of standardized data collection protocols and tangible definitions of abstract concepts.

  • Direct comparisons of results

The study can be reproduced in other cultural settings, times or with different groups of participants. Results can be compared statistically.

  • Large samples

Data from large samples can be processed and analyzed using reliable and consistent procedures through quantitative data analysis.

  • Hypothesis testing

Using formalized and established hypothesis testing procedures means that you have to carefully consider and report your research variables, predictions, data collection and testing methods before coming to a conclusion.

Despite the benefits of quantitative research, it is sometimes inadequate in explaining complex research topics. Its limitations include:

  • Superficiality

Using precise and restrictive operational definitions may inadequately represent complex concepts. For example, the concept of mood may be represented with just a number in quantitative research, but explained with elaboration in qualitative research.

  • Narrow focus

Predetermined variables and measurement procedures can mean that you ignore other relevant observations.

  • Structural bias

Despite standardized procedures, structural biases can still affect quantitative research. Missing data , imprecise measurements or inappropriate sampling methods are biases that can lead to the wrong conclusions.

  • Lack of context

Quantitative research often uses unnatural settings like laboratories or fails to consider historical and cultural contexts that may affect data collection and results.

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If you want to know more about statistics , methodology , or research bias , make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples.

  • Chi square goodness of fit test
  • Degrees of freedom
  • Null hypothesis
  • Discourse analysis
  • Control groups
  • Mixed methods research
  • Non-probability sampling
  • Inclusion and exclusion criteria

Research bias

  • Rosenthal effect
  • Implicit bias
  • Cognitive bias
  • Selection bias
  • Negativity bias
  • Status quo bias

Quantitative research deals with numbers and statistics, while qualitative research deals with words and meanings.

Quantitative methods allow you to systematically measure variables and test hypotheses . Qualitative methods allow you to explore concepts and experiences in more detail.

In mixed methods research , you use both qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis methods to answer your research question .

Data collection is the systematic process by which observations or measurements are gathered in research. It is used in many different contexts by academics, governments, businesses, and other organizations.

Operationalization means turning abstract conceptual ideas into measurable observations.

For example, the concept of social anxiety isn’t directly observable, but it can be operationally defined in terms of self-rating scores, behavioral avoidance of crowded places, or physical anxiety symptoms in social situations.

Before collecting data , it’s important to consider how you will operationalize the variables that you want to measure.

Reliability and validity are both about how well a method measures something:

  • Reliability refers to the  consistency of a measure (whether the results can be reproduced under the same conditions).
  • Validity   refers to the  accuracy of a measure (whether the results really do represent what they are supposed to measure).

If you are doing experimental research, you also have to consider the internal and external validity of your experiment.

Hypothesis testing is a formal procedure for investigating our ideas about the world using statistics. It is used by scientists to test specific predictions, called hypotheses , by calculating how likely it is that a pattern or relationship between variables could have arisen by chance.

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Other Research Support Guides 1. Plan (Design and Discover) your Research >>  2. Find & Manage Research Literature >> 4. Writing up your Research >> 5. Publish & Share >> 6. Measure Impact

Introduction to quantitative methods

Basic scientific research is concerned with the discovery of new phenomena and their integration into coherent  conceptual models of major physical or biological systems

Basic engineering research is  concerned with the discovery and systematic conceptual structuring of knowledge. Engineers develop, design, produce or construct, and operate devices, structures, machines, and systems of economic and societal value. Virtually all engineering research is driven by the anticipated value of an application.

From "What Is Engineering Research and How Do Engineering and Science Interact?." National Academy of Engineering. 1995. Forces Shaping the U.S. Academic Engineering Research Enterprise. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/4933. ×

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Handbook of Research Methods in Health Social Sciences pp 27–49 Cite as

Quantitative Research

  • Leigh A. Wilson 2 , 3  
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Quantitative research methods are concerned with the planning, design, and implementation of strategies to collect and analyze data. Descartes, the seventeenth-century philosopher, suggested that how the results are achieved is often more important than the results themselves, as the journey taken along the research path is a journey of discovery. High-quality quantitative research is characterized by the attention given to the methods and the reliability of the tools used to collect the data. The ability to critique research in a systematic way is an essential component of a health professional’s role in order to deliver high quality, evidence-based healthcare. This chapter is intended to provide a simple overview of the way new researchers and health practitioners can understand and employ quantitative methods. The chapter offers practical, realistic guidance in a learner-friendly way and uses a logical sequence to understand the process of hypothesis development, study design, data collection and handling, and finally data analysis and interpretation.

  • Quantitative
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Babbie ER. The practice of social research. 14th ed. Belmont: Wadsworth Cengage; 2016.

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Wilson LA, Black DA. Health, science research and research methods. Sydney: McGraw Hill; 2013.

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Wilson, L.A. (2019). Quantitative Research. In: Liamputtong, P. (eds) Handbook of Research Methods in Health Social Sciences. Springer, Singapore. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-10-5251-4_54

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A Practical Guide to Writing Quantitative and Qualitative Research Questions and Hypotheses in Scholarly Articles

Edward barroga.

1 Department of General Education, Graduate School of Nursing Science, St. Luke’s International University, Tokyo, Japan.

Glafera Janet Matanguihan

2 Department of Biological Sciences, Messiah University, Mechanicsburg, PA, USA.

The development of research questions and the subsequent hypotheses are prerequisites to defining the main research purpose and specific objectives of a study. Consequently, these objectives determine the study design and research outcome. The development of research questions is a process based on knowledge of current trends, cutting-edge studies, and technological advances in the research field. Excellent research questions are focused and require a comprehensive literature search and in-depth understanding of the problem being investigated. Initially, research questions may be written as descriptive questions which could be developed into inferential questions. These questions must be specific and concise to provide a clear foundation for developing hypotheses. Hypotheses are more formal predictions about the research outcomes. These specify the possible results that may or may not be expected regarding the relationship between groups. Thus, research questions and hypotheses clarify the main purpose and specific objectives of the study, which in turn dictate the design of the study, its direction, and outcome. Studies developed from good research questions and hypotheses will have trustworthy outcomes with wide-ranging social and health implications.

INTRODUCTION

Scientific research is usually initiated by posing evidenced-based research questions which are then explicitly restated as hypotheses. 1 , 2 The hypotheses provide directions to guide the study, solutions, explanations, and expected results. 3 , 4 Both research questions and hypotheses are essentially formulated based on conventional theories and real-world processes, which allow the inception of novel studies and the ethical testing of ideas. 5 , 6

It is crucial to have knowledge of both quantitative and qualitative research 2 as both types of research involve writing research questions and hypotheses. 7 However, these crucial elements of research are sometimes overlooked; if not overlooked, then framed without the forethought and meticulous attention it needs. Planning and careful consideration are needed when developing quantitative or qualitative research, particularly when conceptualizing research questions and hypotheses. 4

There is a continuing need to support researchers in the creation of innovative research questions and hypotheses, as well as for journal articles that carefully review these elements. 1 When research questions and hypotheses are not carefully thought of, unethical studies and poor outcomes usually ensue. Carefully formulated research questions and hypotheses define well-founded objectives, which in turn determine the appropriate design, course, and outcome of the study. This article then aims to discuss in detail the various aspects of crafting research questions and hypotheses, with the goal of guiding researchers as they develop their own. Examples from the authors and peer-reviewed scientific articles in the healthcare field are provided to illustrate key points.

DEFINITIONS AND RELATIONSHIP OF RESEARCH QUESTIONS AND HYPOTHESES

A research question is what a study aims to answer after data analysis and interpretation. The answer is written in length in the discussion section of the paper. Thus, the research question gives a preview of the different parts and variables of the study meant to address the problem posed in the research question. 1 An excellent research question clarifies the research writing while facilitating understanding of the research topic, objective, scope, and limitations of the study. 5

On the other hand, a research hypothesis is an educated statement of an expected outcome. This statement is based on background research and current knowledge. 8 , 9 The research hypothesis makes a specific prediction about a new phenomenon 10 or a formal statement on the expected relationship between an independent variable and a dependent variable. 3 , 11 It provides a tentative answer to the research question to be tested or explored. 4

Hypotheses employ reasoning to predict a theory-based outcome. 10 These can also be developed from theories by focusing on components of theories that have not yet been observed. 10 The validity of hypotheses is often based on the testability of the prediction made in a reproducible experiment. 8

Conversely, hypotheses can also be rephrased as research questions. Several hypotheses based on existing theories and knowledge may be needed to answer a research question. Developing ethical research questions and hypotheses creates a research design that has logical relationships among variables. These relationships serve as a solid foundation for the conduct of the study. 4 , 11 Haphazardly constructed research questions can result in poorly formulated hypotheses and improper study designs, leading to unreliable results. Thus, the formulations of relevant research questions and verifiable hypotheses are crucial when beginning research. 12

CHARACTERISTICS OF GOOD RESEARCH QUESTIONS AND HYPOTHESES

Excellent research questions are specific and focused. These integrate collective data and observations to confirm or refute the subsequent hypotheses. Well-constructed hypotheses are based on previous reports and verify the research context. These are realistic, in-depth, sufficiently complex, and reproducible. More importantly, these hypotheses can be addressed and tested. 13

There are several characteristics of well-developed hypotheses. Good hypotheses are 1) empirically testable 7 , 10 , 11 , 13 ; 2) backed by preliminary evidence 9 ; 3) testable by ethical research 7 , 9 ; 4) based on original ideas 9 ; 5) have evidenced-based logical reasoning 10 ; and 6) can be predicted. 11 Good hypotheses can infer ethical and positive implications, indicating the presence of a relationship or effect relevant to the research theme. 7 , 11 These are initially developed from a general theory and branch into specific hypotheses by deductive reasoning. In the absence of a theory to base the hypotheses, inductive reasoning based on specific observations or findings form more general hypotheses. 10

TYPES OF RESEARCH QUESTIONS AND HYPOTHESES

Research questions and hypotheses are developed according to the type of research, which can be broadly classified into quantitative and qualitative research. We provide a summary of the types of research questions and hypotheses under quantitative and qualitative research categories in Table 1 .

Research questions in quantitative research

In quantitative research, research questions inquire about the relationships among variables being investigated and are usually framed at the start of the study. These are precise and typically linked to the subject population, dependent and independent variables, and research design. 1 Research questions may also attempt to describe the behavior of a population in relation to one or more variables, or describe the characteristics of variables to be measured ( descriptive research questions ). 1 , 5 , 14 These questions may also aim to discover differences between groups within the context of an outcome variable ( comparative research questions ), 1 , 5 , 14 or elucidate trends and interactions among variables ( relationship research questions ). 1 , 5 We provide examples of descriptive, comparative, and relationship research questions in quantitative research in Table 2 .

Hypotheses in quantitative research

In quantitative research, hypotheses predict the expected relationships among variables. 15 Relationships among variables that can be predicted include 1) between a single dependent variable and a single independent variable ( simple hypothesis ) or 2) between two or more independent and dependent variables ( complex hypothesis ). 4 , 11 Hypotheses may also specify the expected direction to be followed and imply an intellectual commitment to a particular outcome ( directional hypothesis ) 4 . On the other hand, hypotheses may not predict the exact direction and are used in the absence of a theory, or when findings contradict previous studies ( non-directional hypothesis ). 4 In addition, hypotheses can 1) define interdependency between variables ( associative hypothesis ), 4 2) propose an effect on the dependent variable from manipulation of the independent variable ( causal hypothesis ), 4 3) state a negative relationship between two variables ( null hypothesis ), 4 , 11 , 15 4) replace the working hypothesis if rejected ( alternative hypothesis ), 15 explain the relationship of phenomena to possibly generate a theory ( working hypothesis ), 11 5) involve quantifiable variables that can be tested statistically ( statistical hypothesis ), 11 6) or express a relationship whose interlinks can be verified logically ( logical hypothesis ). 11 We provide examples of simple, complex, directional, non-directional, associative, causal, null, alternative, working, statistical, and logical hypotheses in quantitative research, as well as the definition of quantitative hypothesis-testing research in Table 3 .

Research questions in qualitative research

Unlike research questions in quantitative research, research questions in qualitative research are usually continuously reviewed and reformulated. The central question and associated subquestions are stated more than the hypotheses. 15 The central question broadly explores a complex set of factors surrounding the central phenomenon, aiming to present the varied perspectives of participants. 15

There are varied goals for which qualitative research questions are developed. These questions can function in several ways, such as to 1) identify and describe existing conditions ( contextual research question s); 2) describe a phenomenon ( descriptive research questions ); 3) assess the effectiveness of existing methods, protocols, theories, or procedures ( evaluation research questions ); 4) examine a phenomenon or analyze the reasons or relationships between subjects or phenomena ( explanatory research questions ); or 5) focus on unknown aspects of a particular topic ( exploratory research questions ). 5 In addition, some qualitative research questions provide new ideas for the development of theories and actions ( generative research questions ) or advance specific ideologies of a position ( ideological research questions ). 1 Other qualitative research questions may build on a body of existing literature and become working guidelines ( ethnographic research questions ). Research questions may also be broadly stated without specific reference to the existing literature or a typology of questions ( phenomenological research questions ), may be directed towards generating a theory of some process ( grounded theory questions ), or may address a description of the case and the emerging themes ( qualitative case study questions ). 15 We provide examples of contextual, descriptive, evaluation, explanatory, exploratory, generative, ideological, ethnographic, phenomenological, grounded theory, and qualitative case study research questions in qualitative research in Table 4 , and the definition of qualitative hypothesis-generating research in Table 5 .

Qualitative studies usually pose at least one central research question and several subquestions starting with How or What . These research questions use exploratory verbs such as explore or describe . These also focus on one central phenomenon of interest, and may mention the participants and research site. 15

Hypotheses in qualitative research

Hypotheses in qualitative research are stated in the form of a clear statement concerning the problem to be investigated. Unlike in quantitative research where hypotheses are usually developed to be tested, qualitative research can lead to both hypothesis-testing and hypothesis-generating outcomes. 2 When studies require both quantitative and qualitative research questions, this suggests an integrative process between both research methods wherein a single mixed-methods research question can be developed. 1

FRAMEWORKS FOR DEVELOPING RESEARCH QUESTIONS AND HYPOTHESES

Research questions followed by hypotheses should be developed before the start of the study. 1 , 12 , 14 It is crucial to develop feasible research questions on a topic that is interesting to both the researcher and the scientific community. This can be achieved by a meticulous review of previous and current studies to establish a novel topic. Specific areas are subsequently focused on to generate ethical research questions. The relevance of the research questions is evaluated in terms of clarity of the resulting data, specificity of the methodology, objectivity of the outcome, depth of the research, and impact of the study. 1 , 5 These aspects constitute the FINER criteria (i.e., Feasible, Interesting, Novel, Ethical, and Relevant). 1 Clarity and effectiveness are achieved if research questions meet the FINER criteria. In addition to the FINER criteria, Ratan et al. described focus, complexity, novelty, feasibility, and measurability for evaluating the effectiveness of research questions. 14

The PICOT and PEO frameworks are also used when developing research questions. 1 The following elements are addressed in these frameworks, PICOT: P-population/patients/problem, I-intervention or indicator being studied, C-comparison group, O-outcome of interest, and T-timeframe of the study; PEO: P-population being studied, E-exposure to preexisting conditions, and O-outcome of interest. 1 Research questions are also considered good if these meet the “FINERMAPS” framework: Feasible, Interesting, Novel, Ethical, Relevant, Manageable, Appropriate, Potential value/publishable, and Systematic. 14

As we indicated earlier, research questions and hypotheses that are not carefully formulated result in unethical studies or poor outcomes. To illustrate this, we provide some examples of ambiguous research question and hypotheses that result in unclear and weak research objectives in quantitative research ( Table 6 ) 16 and qualitative research ( Table 7 ) 17 , and how to transform these ambiguous research question(s) and hypothesis(es) into clear and good statements.

a These statements were composed for comparison and illustrative purposes only.

b These statements are direct quotes from Higashihara and Horiuchi. 16

a This statement is a direct quote from Shimoda et al. 17

The other statements were composed for comparison and illustrative purposes only.

CONSTRUCTING RESEARCH QUESTIONS AND HYPOTHESES

To construct effective research questions and hypotheses, it is very important to 1) clarify the background and 2) identify the research problem at the outset of the research, within a specific timeframe. 9 Then, 3) review or conduct preliminary research to collect all available knowledge about the possible research questions by studying theories and previous studies. 18 Afterwards, 4) construct research questions to investigate the research problem. Identify variables to be accessed from the research questions 4 and make operational definitions of constructs from the research problem and questions. Thereafter, 5) construct specific deductive or inductive predictions in the form of hypotheses. 4 Finally, 6) state the study aims . This general flow for constructing effective research questions and hypotheses prior to conducting research is shown in Fig. 1 .

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Research questions are used more frequently in qualitative research than objectives or hypotheses. 3 These questions seek to discover, understand, explore or describe experiences by asking “What” or “How.” The questions are open-ended to elicit a description rather than to relate variables or compare groups. The questions are continually reviewed, reformulated, and changed during the qualitative study. 3 Research questions are also used more frequently in survey projects than hypotheses in experiments in quantitative research to compare variables and their relationships.

Hypotheses are constructed based on the variables identified and as an if-then statement, following the template, ‘If a specific action is taken, then a certain outcome is expected.’ At this stage, some ideas regarding expectations from the research to be conducted must be drawn. 18 Then, the variables to be manipulated (independent) and influenced (dependent) are defined. 4 Thereafter, the hypothesis is stated and refined, and reproducible data tailored to the hypothesis are identified, collected, and analyzed. 4 The hypotheses must be testable and specific, 18 and should describe the variables and their relationships, the specific group being studied, and the predicted research outcome. 18 Hypotheses construction involves a testable proposition to be deduced from theory, and independent and dependent variables to be separated and measured separately. 3 Therefore, good hypotheses must be based on good research questions constructed at the start of a study or trial. 12

In summary, research questions are constructed after establishing the background of the study. Hypotheses are then developed based on the research questions. Thus, it is crucial to have excellent research questions to generate superior hypotheses. In turn, these would determine the research objectives and the design of the study, and ultimately, the outcome of the research. 12 Algorithms for building research questions and hypotheses are shown in Fig. 2 for quantitative research and in Fig. 3 for qualitative research.

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EXAMPLES OF RESEARCH QUESTIONS FROM PUBLISHED ARTICLES

  • EXAMPLE 1. Descriptive research question (quantitative research)
  • - Presents research variables to be assessed (distinct phenotypes and subphenotypes)
  • “BACKGROUND: Since COVID-19 was identified, its clinical and biological heterogeneity has been recognized. Identifying COVID-19 phenotypes might help guide basic, clinical, and translational research efforts.
  • RESEARCH QUESTION: Does the clinical spectrum of patients with COVID-19 contain distinct phenotypes and subphenotypes? ” 19
  • EXAMPLE 2. Relationship research question (quantitative research)
  • - Shows interactions between dependent variable (static postural control) and independent variable (peripheral visual field loss)
  • “Background: Integration of visual, vestibular, and proprioceptive sensations contributes to postural control. People with peripheral visual field loss have serious postural instability. However, the directional specificity of postural stability and sensory reweighting caused by gradual peripheral visual field loss remain unclear.
  • Research question: What are the effects of peripheral visual field loss on static postural control ?” 20
  • EXAMPLE 3. Comparative research question (quantitative research)
  • - Clarifies the difference among groups with an outcome variable (patients enrolled in COMPERA with moderate PH or severe PH in COPD) and another group without the outcome variable (patients with idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH))
  • “BACKGROUND: Pulmonary hypertension (PH) in COPD is a poorly investigated clinical condition.
  • RESEARCH QUESTION: Which factors determine the outcome of PH in COPD?
  • STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: We analyzed the characteristics and outcome of patients enrolled in the Comparative, Prospective Registry of Newly Initiated Therapies for Pulmonary Hypertension (COMPERA) with moderate or severe PH in COPD as defined during the 6th PH World Symposium who received medical therapy for PH and compared them with patients with idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH) .” 21
  • EXAMPLE 4. Exploratory research question (qualitative research)
  • - Explores areas that have not been fully investigated (perspectives of families and children who receive care in clinic-based child obesity treatment) to have a deeper understanding of the research problem
  • “Problem: Interventions for children with obesity lead to only modest improvements in BMI and long-term outcomes, and data are limited on the perspectives of families of children with obesity in clinic-based treatment. This scoping review seeks to answer the question: What is known about the perspectives of families and children who receive care in clinic-based child obesity treatment? This review aims to explore the scope of perspectives reported by families of children with obesity who have received individualized outpatient clinic-based obesity treatment.” 22
  • EXAMPLE 5. Relationship research question (quantitative research)
  • - Defines interactions between dependent variable (use of ankle strategies) and independent variable (changes in muscle tone)
  • “Background: To maintain an upright standing posture against external disturbances, the human body mainly employs two types of postural control strategies: “ankle strategy” and “hip strategy.” While it has been reported that the magnitude of the disturbance alters the use of postural control strategies, it has not been elucidated how the level of muscle tone, one of the crucial parameters of bodily function, determines the use of each strategy. We have previously confirmed using forward dynamics simulations of human musculoskeletal models that an increased muscle tone promotes the use of ankle strategies. The objective of the present study was to experimentally evaluate a hypothesis: an increased muscle tone promotes the use of ankle strategies. Research question: Do changes in the muscle tone affect the use of ankle strategies ?” 23

EXAMPLES OF HYPOTHESES IN PUBLISHED ARTICLES

  • EXAMPLE 1. Working hypothesis (quantitative research)
  • - A hypothesis that is initially accepted for further research to produce a feasible theory
  • “As fever may have benefit in shortening the duration of viral illness, it is plausible to hypothesize that the antipyretic efficacy of ibuprofen may be hindering the benefits of a fever response when taken during the early stages of COVID-19 illness .” 24
  • “In conclusion, it is plausible to hypothesize that the antipyretic efficacy of ibuprofen may be hindering the benefits of a fever response . The difference in perceived safety of these agents in COVID-19 illness could be related to the more potent efficacy to reduce fever with ibuprofen compared to acetaminophen. Compelling data on the benefit of fever warrant further research and review to determine when to treat or withhold ibuprofen for early stage fever for COVID-19 and other related viral illnesses .” 24
  • EXAMPLE 2. Exploratory hypothesis (qualitative research)
  • - Explores particular areas deeper to clarify subjective experience and develop a formal hypothesis potentially testable in a future quantitative approach
  • “We hypothesized that when thinking about a past experience of help-seeking, a self distancing prompt would cause increased help-seeking intentions and more favorable help-seeking outcome expectations .” 25
  • “Conclusion
  • Although a priori hypotheses were not supported, further research is warranted as results indicate the potential for using self-distancing approaches to increasing help-seeking among some people with depressive symptomatology.” 25
  • EXAMPLE 3. Hypothesis-generating research to establish a framework for hypothesis testing (qualitative research)
  • “We hypothesize that compassionate care is beneficial for patients (better outcomes), healthcare systems and payers (lower costs), and healthcare providers (lower burnout). ” 26
  • Compassionomics is the branch of knowledge and scientific study of the effects of compassionate healthcare. Our main hypotheses are that compassionate healthcare is beneficial for (1) patients, by improving clinical outcomes, (2) healthcare systems and payers, by supporting financial sustainability, and (3) HCPs, by lowering burnout and promoting resilience and well-being. The purpose of this paper is to establish a scientific framework for testing the hypotheses above . If these hypotheses are confirmed through rigorous research, compassionomics will belong in the science of evidence-based medicine, with major implications for all healthcare domains.” 26
  • EXAMPLE 4. Statistical hypothesis (quantitative research)
  • - An assumption is made about the relationship among several population characteristics ( gender differences in sociodemographic and clinical characteristics of adults with ADHD ). Validity is tested by statistical experiment or analysis ( chi-square test, Students t-test, and logistic regression analysis)
  • “Our research investigated gender differences in sociodemographic and clinical characteristics of adults with ADHD in a Japanese clinical sample. Due to unique Japanese cultural ideals and expectations of women's behavior that are in opposition to ADHD symptoms, we hypothesized that women with ADHD experience more difficulties and present more dysfunctions than men . We tested the following hypotheses: first, women with ADHD have more comorbidities than men with ADHD; second, women with ADHD experience more social hardships than men, such as having less full-time employment and being more likely to be divorced.” 27
  • “Statistical Analysis
  • ( text omitted ) Between-gender comparisons were made using the chi-squared test for categorical variables and Students t-test for continuous variables…( text omitted ). A logistic regression analysis was performed for employment status, marital status, and comorbidity to evaluate the independent effects of gender on these dependent variables.” 27

EXAMPLES OF HYPOTHESIS AS WRITTEN IN PUBLISHED ARTICLES IN RELATION TO OTHER PARTS

  • EXAMPLE 1. Background, hypotheses, and aims are provided
  • “Pregnant women need skilled care during pregnancy and childbirth, but that skilled care is often delayed in some countries …( text omitted ). The focused antenatal care (FANC) model of WHO recommends that nurses provide information or counseling to all pregnant women …( text omitted ). Job aids are visual support materials that provide the right kind of information using graphics and words in a simple and yet effective manner. When nurses are not highly trained or have many work details to attend to, these job aids can serve as a content reminder for the nurses and can be used for educating their patients (Jennings, Yebadokpo, Affo, & Agbogbe, 2010) ( text omitted ). Importantly, additional evidence is needed to confirm how job aids can further improve the quality of ANC counseling by health workers in maternal care …( text omitted )” 28
  • “ This has led us to hypothesize that the quality of ANC counseling would be better if supported by job aids. Consequently, a better quality of ANC counseling is expected to produce higher levels of awareness concerning the danger signs of pregnancy and a more favorable impression of the caring behavior of nurses .” 28
  • “This study aimed to examine the differences in the responses of pregnant women to a job aid-supported intervention during ANC visit in terms of 1) their understanding of the danger signs of pregnancy and 2) their impression of the caring behaviors of nurses to pregnant women in rural Tanzania.” 28
  • EXAMPLE 2. Background, hypotheses, and aims are provided
  • “We conducted a two-arm randomized controlled trial (RCT) to evaluate and compare changes in salivary cortisol and oxytocin levels of first-time pregnant women between experimental and control groups. The women in the experimental group touched and held an infant for 30 min (experimental intervention protocol), whereas those in the control group watched a DVD movie of an infant (control intervention protocol). The primary outcome was salivary cortisol level and the secondary outcome was salivary oxytocin level.” 29
  • “ We hypothesize that at 30 min after touching and holding an infant, the salivary cortisol level will significantly decrease and the salivary oxytocin level will increase in the experimental group compared with the control group .” 29
  • EXAMPLE 3. Background, aim, and hypothesis are provided
  • “In countries where the maternal mortality ratio remains high, antenatal education to increase Birth Preparedness and Complication Readiness (BPCR) is considered one of the top priorities [1]. BPCR includes birth plans during the antenatal period, such as the birthplace, birth attendant, transportation, health facility for complications, expenses, and birth materials, as well as family coordination to achieve such birth plans. In Tanzania, although increasing, only about half of all pregnant women attend an antenatal clinic more than four times [4]. Moreover, the information provided during antenatal care (ANC) is insufficient. In the resource-poor settings, antenatal group education is a potential approach because of the limited time for individual counseling at antenatal clinics.” 30
  • “This study aimed to evaluate an antenatal group education program among pregnant women and their families with respect to birth-preparedness and maternal and infant outcomes in rural villages of Tanzania.” 30
  • “ The study hypothesis was if Tanzanian pregnant women and their families received a family-oriented antenatal group education, they would (1) have a higher level of BPCR, (2) attend antenatal clinic four or more times, (3) give birth in a health facility, (4) have less complications of women at birth, and (5) have less complications and deaths of infants than those who did not receive the education .” 30

Research questions and hypotheses are crucial components to any type of research, whether quantitative or qualitative. These questions should be developed at the very beginning of the study. Excellent research questions lead to superior hypotheses, which, like a compass, set the direction of research, and can often determine the successful conduct of the study. Many research studies have floundered because the development of research questions and subsequent hypotheses was not given the thought and meticulous attention needed. The development of research questions and hypotheses is an iterative process based on extensive knowledge of the literature and insightful grasp of the knowledge gap. Focused, concise, and specific research questions provide a strong foundation for constructing hypotheses which serve as formal predictions about the research outcomes. Research questions and hypotheses are crucial elements of research that should not be overlooked. They should be carefully thought of and constructed when planning research. This avoids unethical studies and poor outcomes by defining well-founded objectives that determine the design, course, and outcome of the study.

Disclosure: The authors have no potential conflicts of interest to disclose.

Author Contributions:

  • Conceptualization: Barroga E, Matanguihan GJ.
  • Methodology: Barroga E, Matanguihan GJ.
  • Writing - original draft: Barroga E, Matanguihan GJ.
  • Writing - review & editing: Barroga E, Matanguihan GJ.
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quantitative research is important to an engineer because

Home Market Research

Quantitative Research: What It Is, Practices & Methods

Quantitative research

Quantitative research involves analyzing and gathering numerical data to uncover trends, calculate averages, evaluate relationships, and derive overarching insights. It’s used in various fields, including the natural and social sciences. Quantitative data analysis employs statistical techniques for processing and interpreting numeric data.

Research designs in the quantitative realm outline how data will be collected and analyzed with methods like experiments and surveys. Qualitative methods complement quantitative research by focusing on non-numerical data, adding depth to understanding. Data collection methods can be qualitative or quantitative, depending on research goals. Researchers often use a combination of both approaches to gain a comprehensive understanding of phenomena.

What is Quantitative Research?

Quantitative research is a systematic investigation of phenomena by gathering quantifiable data and performing statistical, mathematical, or computational techniques. Quantitative research collects statistically significant information from existing and potential customers using sampling methods and sending out online surveys , online polls , and questionnaires , for example.

One of the main characteristics of this type of research is that the results can be depicted in numerical form. After carefully collecting structured observations and understanding these numbers, it’s possible to predict the future of a product or service, establish causal relationships or Causal Research , and make changes accordingly. Quantitative research primarily centers on the analysis of numerical data and utilizes inferential statistics to derive conclusions that can be extrapolated to the broader population.

An example of a quantitative research study is the survey conducted to understand how long a doctor takes to tend to a patient when the patient walks into the hospital. A patient satisfaction survey can be administered to ask questions like how long a doctor takes to see a patient, how often a patient walks into a hospital, and other such questions, which are dependent variables in the research. This kind of research method is often employed in the social sciences, and it involves using mathematical frameworks and theories to effectively present data, ensuring that the results are logical, statistically sound, and unbiased.

Data collection in quantitative research uses a structured method and is typically conducted on larger samples representing the entire population. Researchers use quantitative methods to collect numerical data, which is then subjected to statistical analysis to determine statistically significant findings. This approach is valuable in both experimental research and social research, as it helps in making informed decisions and drawing reliable conclusions based on quantitative data.

Quantitative Research Characteristics

Quantitative research has several unique characteristics that make it well-suited for specific projects. Let’s explore the most crucial of these characteristics so that you can consider them when planning your next research project:

quantitative research is important to an engineer because

  • Structured tools: Quantitative research relies on structured tools such as surveys, polls, or questionnaires to gather quantitative data . Using such structured methods helps collect in-depth and actionable numerical data from the survey respondents, making it easier to perform data analysis.
  • Sample size: Quantitative research is conducted on a significant sample size  representing the target market . Appropriate Survey Sampling methods, a fundamental aspect of quantitative research methods, must be employed when deriving the sample to fortify the research objective and ensure the reliability of the results.
  • Close-ended questions: Closed-ended questions , specifically designed to align with the research objectives, are a cornerstone of quantitative research. These questions facilitate the collection of quantitative data and are extensively used in data collection processes.
  • Prior studies: Before collecting feedback from respondents, researchers often delve into previous studies related to the research topic. This preliminary research helps frame the study effectively and ensures the data collection process is well-informed.
  • Quantitative data: Typically, quantitative data is represented using tables, charts, graphs, or other numerical forms. This visual representation aids in understanding the collected data and is essential for rigorous data analysis, a key component of quantitative research methods.
  • Generalization of results: One of the strengths of quantitative research is its ability to generalize results to the entire population. It means that the findings derived from a sample can be extrapolated to make informed decisions and take appropriate actions for improvement based on numerical data analysis.

Quantitative Research Methods

Quantitative research methods are systematic approaches used to gather and analyze numerical data to understand and draw conclusions about a phenomenon or population. Here are the quantitative research methods:

  • Primary quantitative research methods
  • Secondary quantitative research methods

Primary Quantitative Research Methods

Primary quantitative research is the most widely used method of conducting market research. The distinct feature of primary research is that the researcher focuses on collecting data directly rather than depending on data collected from previously done research. Primary quantitative research design can be broken down into three further distinctive tracks and the process flow. They are:

A. Techniques and Types of Studies

There are multiple types of primary quantitative research. They can be distinguished into the four following distinctive methods, which are:

01. Survey Research

Survey Research is fundamental for all quantitative outcome research methodologies and studies. Surveys are used to ask questions to a sample of respondents, using various types such as online polls, online surveys, paper questionnaires, web-intercept surveys , etc. Every small and big organization intends to understand what their customers think about their products and services, how well new features are faring in the market, and other such details.

By conducting survey research, an organization can ask multiple survey questions , collect data from a pool of customers, and analyze this collected data to produce numerical results. It is the first step towards collecting data for any research. You can use single ease questions . A single-ease question is a straightforward query that elicits a concise and uncomplicated response.

This type of research can be conducted with a specific target audience group and also can be conducted across multiple groups along with comparative analysis . A prerequisite for this type of research is that the sample of respondents must have randomly selected members. This way, a researcher can easily maintain the accuracy of the obtained results as a huge variety of respondents will be addressed using random selection. 

Traditionally, survey research was conducted face-to-face or via phone calls. Still, with the progress made by online mediums such as email or social media, survey research has also spread to online mediums.There are two types of surveys , either of which can be chosen based on the time in hand and the kind of data required:

Cross-sectional surveys: Cross-sectional surveys are observational surveys conducted in situations where the researcher intends to collect data from a sample of the target population at a given point in time. Researchers can evaluate various variables at a particular time. Data gathered using this type of survey is from people who depict similarity in all variables except the variables which are considered for research . Throughout the survey, this one variable will stay constant.

  • Cross-sectional surveys are popular with retail, SMEs, and healthcare industries. Information is garnered without modifying any parameters in the variable ecosystem.
  • Multiple samples can be analyzed and compared using a cross-sectional survey research method.
  • Multiple variables can be evaluated using this type of survey research.
  • The only disadvantage of cross-sectional surveys is that the cause-effect relationship of variables cannot be established as it usually evaluates variables at a particular time and not across a continuous time frame.

Longitudinal surveys: Longitudinal surveys are also observational surveys , but unlike cross-sectional surveys, longitudinal surveys are conducted across various time durations to observe a change in respondent behavior and thought processes. This time can be days, months, years, or even decades. For instance, a researcher planning to analyze the change in buying habits of teenagers over 5 years will conduct longitudinal surveys.

  • In cross-sectional surveys, the same variables were evaluated at a given time, and in longitudinal surveys, different variables can be analyzed at different intervals.
  • Longitudinal surveys are extensively used in the field of medicine and applied sciences. Apart from these two fields, they are also used to observe a change in the market trend analysis , analyze customer satisfaction, or gain feedback on products/services.
  • In situations where the sequence of events is highly essential, longitudinal surveys are used.
  • Researchers say that when research subjects need to be thoroughly inspected before concluding, they rely on longitudinal surveys.

02. Correlational Research

A comparison between two entities is invariable. Correlation research is conducted to establish a relationship between two closely-knit entities and how one impacts the other, and what changes are eventually observed. This research method is carried out to give value to naturally occurring relationships, and a minimum of two different groups are required to conduct this quantitative research method successfully. Without assuming various aspects, a relationship between two groups or entities must be established.

Researchers use this quantitative research design to correlate two or more variables using mathematical analysis methods. Patterns, relationships, and trends between variables are concluded as they exist in their original setup. The impact of one of these variables on the other is observed, along with how it changes the relationship between the two variables. Researchers tend to manipulate one of the variables to attain the desired results.

Ideally, it is advised not to make conclusions merely based on correlational research. This is because it is not mandatory that if two variables are in sync that they are interrelated.

Example of Correlational Research Questions :

  • The relationship between stress and depression.
  • The equation between fame and money.
  • The relation between activities in a third-grade class and its students.

03. Causal-comparative Research

This research method mainly depends on the factor of comparison. Also called quasi-experimental research , this quantitative research method is used by researchers to conclude the cause-effect equation between two or more variables, where one variable is dependent on the other independent variable. The independent variable is established but not manipulated, and its impact on the dependent variable is observed. These variables or groups must be formed as they exist in the natural setup. As the dependent and independent variables will always exist in a group, it is advised that the conclusions are carefully established by keeping all the factors in mind.

Causal-comparative research is not restricted to the statistical analysis of two variables but extends to analyzing how various variables or groups change under the influence of the same changes. This research is conducted irrespective of the type of relationship that exists between two or more variables. Statistical analysis plan is used to present the outcome using this quantitative research method.

Example of Causal-Comparative Research Questions:

  • The impact of drugs on a teenager. The effect of good education on a freshman. The effect of substantial food provision in the villages of Africa.

04. Experimental Research

Also known as true experimentation, this research method relies on a theory. As the name suggests, experimental research is usually based on one or more theories. This theory has yet to be proven before and is merely a supposition. In experimental research, an analysis is done around proving or disproving the statement. This research method is used in natural sciences. Traditional research methods are more effective than modern techniques.

There can be multiple theories in experimental research. A theory is a statement that can be verified or refuted.

After establishing the statement, efforts are made to understand whether it is valid or invalid. This quantitative research method is mainly used in natural or social sciences as various statements must be proved right or wrong.

  • Traditional research methods are more effective than modern techniques.
  • Systematic teaching schedules help children who struggle to cope with the course.
  • It is a boon to have responsible nursing staff for ailing parents.

B. Data Collection Methodologies

The second major step in primary quantitative research is data collection. Data collection can be divided into sampling methods and data collection using surveys and polls.

01. Data Collection Methodologies: Sampling Methods

There are two main sampling methods for quantitative research: Probability and Non-probability sampling .

Probability sampling: A theory of probability is used to filter individuals from a population and create samples in probability sampling . Participants of a sample are chosen by random selection processes. Each target audience member has an equal opportunity to be selected in the sample.

There are four main types of probability sampling:

  • Simple random sampling: As the name indicates, simple random sampling is nothing but a random selection of elements for a sample. This sampling technique is implemented where the target population is considerably large.
  • Stratified random sampling: In the stratified random sampling method , a large population is divided into groups (strata), and members of a sample are chosen randomly from these strata. The various segregated strata should ideally not overlap one another.
  • Cluster sampling: Cluster sampling is a probability sampling method using which the main segment is divided into clusters, usually using geographic segmentation and demographic segmentation parameters.
  • Systematic sampling: Systematic sampling is a technique where the starting point of the sample is chosen randomly, and all the other elements are chosen using a fixed interval. This interval is calculated by dividing the population size by the target sample size.

Non-probability sampling: Non-probability sampling is where the researcher’s knowledge and experience are used to create samples. Because of the researcher’s involvement, not all the target population members have an equal probability of being selected to be a part of a sample.

There are five non-probability sampling models:

  • Convenience sampling: In convenience sampling , elements of a sample are chosen only due to one prime reason: their proximity to the researcher. These samples are quick and easy to implement as there is no other parameter of selection involved.
  • Consecutive sampling: Consecutive sampling is quite similar to convenience sampling, except for the fact that researchers can choose a single element or a group of samples and conduct research consecutively over a significant period and then perform the same process with other samples.
  • Quota sampling: Using quota sampling , researchers can select elements using their knowledge of target traits and personalities to form strata. Members of various strata can then be chosen to be a part of the sample as per the researcher’s understanding.
  • Snowball sampling: Snowball sampling is conducted with target audiences who are difficult to contact and get information. It is popular in cases where the target audience for analysis research is rare to put together.
  • Judgmental sampling: Judgmental sampling is a non-probability sampling method where samples are created only based on the researcher’s experience and research skill .

02. Data collection methodologies: Using surveys & polls

Once the sample is determined, then either surveys or polls can be distributed to collect the data for quantitative research.

Using surveys for primary quantitative research

A survey is defined as a research method used for collecting data from a pre-defined group of respondents to gain information and insights on various topics of interest. The ease of survey distribution and the wide number of people it can reach depending on the research time and objective makes it one of the most important aspects of conducting quantitative research.

Fundamental levels of measurement – nominal, ordinal, interval, and ratio scales

Four measurement scales are fundamental to creating a multiple-choice question in a survey. They are nominal, ordinal, interval, and ratio measurement scales without the fundamentals of which no multiple-choice questions can be created. Hence, it is crucial to understand these measurement levels to develop a robust survey.

Use of different question types

To conduct quantitative research, close-ended questions must be used in a survey. They can be a mix of multiple question types, including multiple-choice questions like semantic differential scale questions , rating scale questions , etc.

Survey Distribution and Survey Data Collection

In the above, we have seen the process of building a survey along with the research design to conduct primary quantitative research. Survey distribution to collect data is the other important aspect of the survey process. There are different ways of survey distribution. Some of the most commonly used methods are:

  • Email: Sending a survey via email is the most widely used and effective survey distribution method. This method’s response rate is high because the respondents know your brand. You can use the QuestionPro email management feature to send out and collect survey responses.
  • Buy respondents: Another effective way to distribute a survey and conduct primary quantitative research is to use a sample. Since the respondents are knowledgeable and are on the panel by their own will, responses are much higher.
  • Embed survey on a website: Embedding a survey on a website increases a high number of responses as the respondent is already in close proximity to the brand when the survey pops up.
  • Social distribution: Using social media to distribute the survey aids in collecting a higher number of responses from the people that are aware of the brand.
  • QR code: QuestionPro QR codes store the URL for the survey. You can print/publish this code in magazines, signs, business cards, or on just about any object/medium.
  • SMS survey: The SMS survey is a quick and time-effective way to collect a high number of responses.
  • Offline Survey App: The QuestionPro App allows users to circulate surveys quickly, and the responses can be collected both online and offline.

Survey example

An example of a survey is a short customer satisfaction (CSAT) survey that can quickly be built and deployed to collect feedback about what the customer thinks about a brand and how satisfied and referenceable the brand is.

Using polls for primary quantitative research

Polls are a method to collect feedback using close-ended questions from a sample. The most commonly used types of polls are election polls and exit polls . Both of these are used to collect data from a large sample size but using basic question types like multiple-choice questions.

C. Data Analysis Techniques

The third aspect of primary quantitative research design is data analysis . After collecting raw data, there must be an analysis of this data to derive statistical inferences from this research. It is important to relate the results to the research objective and establish the statistical relevance of the results.

Remember to consider aspects of research that were not considered for the data collection process and report the difference between what was planned vs. what was actually executed.

It is then required to select precise Statistical Analysis Methods , such as SWOT, Conjoint, Cross-tabulation, etc., to analyze the quantitative data.

  • SWOT analysis: SWOT Analysis stands for the acronym of Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threat analysis. Organizations use this statistical analysis technique to evaluate their performance internally and externally to develop effective strategies for improvement.
  • Conjoint Analysis: Conjoint Analysis is a market analysis method to learn how individuals make complicated purchasing decisions. Trade-offs are involved in an individual’s daily activities, and these reflect their ability to decide from a complex list of product/service options.
  • Cross-tabulation: Cross-tabulation is one of the preliminary statistical market analysis methods which establishes relationships, patterns, and trends within the various parameters of the research study.
  • TURF Analysis: TURF Analysis , an acronym for Totally Unduplicated Reach and Frequency Analysis, is executed in situations where the reach of a favorable communication source is to be analyzed along with the frequency of this communication. It is used for understanding the potential of a target market.

Inferential statistics methods such as confidence interval, the margin of error, etc., can then be used to provide results.

Secondary Quantitative Research Methods

Secondary quantitative research or desk research is a research method that involves using already existing data or secondary data. Existing data is summarized and collated to increase the overall effectiveness of the research.

This research method involves collecting quantitative data from existing data sources like the internet, government resources, libraries, research reports, etc. Secondary quantitative research helps to validate the data collected from primary quantitative research and aid in strengthening or proving, or disproving previously collected data.

The following are five popularly used secondary quantitative research methods:

  • Data available on the internet: With the high penetration of the internet and mobile devices, it has become increasingly easy to conduct quantitative research using the internet. Information about most research topics is available online, and this aids in boosting the validity of primary quantitative data.
  • Government and non-government sources: Secondary quantitative research can also be conducted with the help of government and non-government sources that deal with market research reports. This data is highly reliable and in-depth and hence, can be used to increase the validity of quantitative research design.
  • Public libraries: Now a sparingly used method of conducting quantitative research, it is still a reliable source of information, though. Public libraries have copies of important research that was conducted earlier. They are a storehouse of valuable information and documents from which information can be extracted.
  • Educational institutions: Educational institutions conduct in-depth research on multiple topics, and hence, the reports that they publish are an important source of validation in quantitative research.
  • Commercial information sources: Local newspapers, journals, magazines, radio, and TV stations are great sources to obtain data for secondary quantitative research. These commercial information sources have in-depth, first-hand information on market research, demographic segmentation, and similar subjects.

Quantitative Research Examples

Some examples of quantitative research are:

  • A customer satisfaction template can be used if any organization would like to conduct a customer satisfaction (CSAT) survey . Through this kind of survey, an organization can collect quantitative data and metrics on the goodwill of the brand or organization in the customer’s mind based on multiple parameters such as product quality, pricing, customer experience, etc. This data can be collected by asking a net promoter score (NPS) question , matrix table questions, etc. that provide data in the form of numbers that can be analyzed and worked upon.
  • Another example of quantitative research is an organization that conducts an event, collecting feedback from attendees about the value they see from the event. By using an event survey , the organization can collect actionable feedback about the satisfaction levels of customers during various phases of the event such as the sales, pre and post-event, the likelihood of recommending the organization to their friends and colleagues, hotel preferences for the future events and other such questions.

What are the Advantages of Quantitative Research?

There are many advantages to quantitative research. Some of the major advantages of why researchers use this method in market research are:

advantages-of-quantitative-research

Collect Reliable and Accurate Data:

Quantitative research is a powerful method for collecting reliable and accurate quantitative data. Since data is collected, analyzed, and presented in numbers, the results obtained are incredibly reliable and objective. Numbers do not lie and offer an honest and precise picture of the conducted research without discrepancies. In situations where a researcher aims to eliminate bias and predict potential conflicts, quantitative research is the method of choice.

Quick Data Collection:

Quantitative research involves studying a group of people representing a larger population. Researchers use a survey or another quantitative research method to efficiently gather information from these participants, making the process of analyzing the data and identifying patterns faster and more manageable through the use of statistical analysis. This advantage makes quantitative research an attractive option for projects with time constraints.

Wider Scope of Data Analysis:

Quantitative research, thanks to its utilization of statistical methods, offers an extensive range of data collection and analysis. Researchers can delve into a broader spectrum of variables and relationships within the data, enabling a more thorough comprehension of the subject under investigation. This expanded scope is precious when dealing with complex research questions that require in-depth numerical analysis.

Eliminate Bias:

One of the significant advantages of quantitative research is its ability to eliminate bias. This research method leaves no room for personal comments or the biasing of results, as the findings are presented in numerical form. This objectivity makes the results fair and reliable in most cases, reducing the potential for researcher bias or subjectivity.

In summary, quantitative research involves collecting, analyzing, and presenting quantitative data using statistical analysis. It offers numerous advantages, including the collection of reliable and accurate data, quick data collection, a broader scope of data analysis, and the elimination of bias, making it a valuable approach in the field of research. When considering the benefits of quantitative research, it’s essential to recognize its strengths in contrast to qualitative methods and its role in collecting and analyzing numerical data for a more comprehensive understanding of research topics.

Best Practices to Conduct Quantitative Research

Here are some best practices for conducting quantitative research:

Tips to conduct quantitative research

  • Differentiate between quantitative and qualitative: Understand the difference between the two methodologies and apply the one that suits your needs best.
  • Choose a suitable sample size: Ensure that you have a sample representative of your population and large enough to be statistically weighty.
  • Keep your research goals clear and concise: Know your research goals before you begin data collection to ensure you collect the right amount and the right quantity of data.
  • Keep the questions simple: Remember that you will be reaching out to a demographically wide audience. Pose simple questions for your respondents to understand easily.

Quantitative Research vs Qualitative Research

Quantitative research and qualitative research are two distinct approaches to conducting research, each with its own set of methods and objectives. Here’s a comparison of the two:

quantitative research is important to an engineer because

Quantitative Research

  • Objective: The primary goal of quantitative research is to quantify and measure phenomena by collecting numerical data. It aims to test hypotheses, establish patterns, and generalize findings to a larger population.
  • Data Collection: Quantitative research employs systematic and standardized approaches for data collection, including techniques like surveys, experiments, and observations that involve predefined variables. It is often collected from a large and representative sample.
  • Data Analysis: Data is analyzed using statistical techniques, such as descriptive statistics, inferential statistics, and mathematical modeling. Researchers use statistical tests to draw conclusions and make generalizations based on numerical data.
  • Sample Size: Quantitative research often involves larger sample sizes to ensure statistical significance and generalizability.
  • Results: The results are typically presented in tables, charts, and statistical summaries, making them highly structured and objective.
  • Generalizability: Researchers intentionally structure quantitative research to generate outcomes that can be helpful to a larger population, and they frequently seek to establish causative connections.
  • Emphasis on Objectivity: Researchers aim to minimize bias and subjectivity, focusing on replicable and objective findings.

Qualitative Research

  • Objective: Qualitative research seeks to gain a deeper understanding of the underlying motivations, behaviors, and experiences of individuals or groups. It explores the context and meaning of phenomena.
  • Data Collection: Qualitative research employs adaptable and open-ended techniques for data collection, including methods like interviews, focus groups, observations, and content analysis. It allows participants to express their perspectives in their own words.
  • Data Analysis: Data is analyzed through thematic analysis, content analysis, or grounded theory. Researchers focus on identifying patterns, themes, and insights in the data.
  • Sample Size: Qualitative research typically involves smaller sample sizes due to the in-depth nature of data collection and analysis.
  • Results: Findings are presented in narrative form, often in the participants’ own words. Results are subjective, context-dependent, and provide rich, detailed descriptions.
  • Generalizability: Qualitative research does not aim for broad generalizability but focuses on in-depth exploration within a specific context. It provides a detailed understanding of a particular group or situation.
  • Emphasis on Subjectivity: Researchers acknowledge the role of subjectivity and the researcher’s influence on the Research Process . Participant perspectives and experiences are central to the findings.

Researchers choose between quantitative and qualitative research methods based on their research objectives and the nature of the research question. Each approach has its advantages and drawbacks, and the decision between them hinges on the particular research objectives and the data needed to address research inquiries effectively.

Quantitative research is a structured way of collecting and analyzing data from various sources. Its purpose is to quantify the problem and understand its extent, seeking results that someone can project to a larger population.

Companies that use quantitative rather than qualitative research typically aim to measure magnitudes and seek objectively interpreted statistical results. So if you want to obtain quantitative data that helps you define the structured cause-and-effect relationship between the research problem and the factors, you should opt for this type of research.

At QuestionPro , we have various Best Data Collection Tools and features to conduct investigations of this type. You can create questionnaires and distribute them through our various methods. We also have sample services or various questions to guarantee the success of your study and the quality of the collected data.

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Quantitative research is a systematic and structured approach to studying phenomena that involves the collection of measurable data and the application of statistical, mathematical, or computational techniques for analysis.

Quantitative research is characterized by structured tools like surveys, substantial sample sizes, closed-ended questions, reliance on prior studies, data presented numerically, and the ability to generalize findings to the broader population.

The two main methods of quantitative research are Primary quantitative research methods, involving data collection directly from sources, and Secondary quantitative research methods, which utilize existing data for analysis.

1.Surveying to measure employee engagement with numerical rating scales. 2.Analyzing sales data to identify trends in product demand and market share. 4.Examining test scores to assess the impact of a new teaching method on student performance. 4.Using website analytics to track user behavior and conversion rates for an online store.

1.Differentiate between quantitative and qualitative approaches. 2.Choose a representative sample size. 3.Define clear research goals before data collection. 4.Use simple and easily understandable survey questions.

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Research Method

Home » Quantitative Research – Methods, Types and Analysis

Quantitative Research – Methods, Types and Analysis

Table of Contents

What is Quantitative Research

Quantitative Research

Quantitative research is a type of research that collects and analyzes numerical data to test hypotheses and answer research questions . This research typically involves a large sample size and uses statistical analysis to make inferences about a population based on the data collected. It often involves the use of surveys, experiments, or other structured data collection methods to gather quantitative data.

Quantitative Research Methods

Quantitative Research Methods

Quantitative Research Methods are as follows:

Descriptive Research Design

Descriptive research design is used to describe the characteristics of a population or phenomenon being studied. This research method is used to answer the questions of what, where, when, and how. Descriptive research designs use a variety of methods such as observation, case studies, and surveys to collect data. The data is then analyzed using statistical tools to identify patterns and relationships.

Correlational Research Design

Correlational research design is used to investigate the relationship between two or more variables. Researchers use correlational research to determine whether a relationship exists between variables and to what extent they are related. This research method involves collecting data from a sample and analyzing it using statistical tools such as correlation coefficients.

Quasi-experimental Research Design

Quasi-experimental research design is used to investigate cause-and-effect relationships between variables. This research method is similar to experimental research design, but it lacks full control over the independent variable. Researchers use quasi-experimental research designs when it is not feasible or ethical to manipulate the independent variable.

Experimental Research Design

Experimental research design is used to investigate cause-and-effect relationships between variables. This research method involves manipulating the independent variable and observing the effects on the dependent variable. Researchers use experimental research designs to test hypotheses and establish cause-and-effect relationships.

Survey Research

Survey research involves collecting data from a sample of individuals using a standardized questionnaire. This research method is used to gather information on attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors of individuals. Researchers use survey research to collect data quickly and efficiently from a large sample size. Survey research can be conducted through various methods such as online, phone, mail, or in-person interviews.

Quantitative Research Analysis Methods

Here are some commonly used quantitative research analysis methods:

Statistical Analysis

Statistical analysis is the most common quantitative research analysis method. It involves using statistical tools and techniques to analyze the numerical data collected during the research process. Statistical analysis can be used to identify patterns, trends, and relationships between variables, and to test hypotheses and theories.

Regression Analysis

Regression analysis is a statistical technique used to analyze the relationship between one dependent variable and one or more independent variables. Researchers use regression analysis to identify and quantify the impact of independent variables on the dependent variable.

Factor Analysis

Factor analysis is a statistical technique used to identify underlying factors that explain the correlations among a set of variables. Researchers use factor analysis to reduce a large number of variables to a smaller set of factors that capture the most important information.

Structural Equation Modeling

Structural equation modeling is a statistical technique used to test complex relationships between variables. It involves specifying a model that includes both observed and unobserved variables, and then using statistical methods to test the fit of the model to the data.

Time Series Analysis

Time series analysis is a statistical technique used to analyze data that is collected over time. It involves identifying patterns and trends in the data, as well as any seasonal or cyclical variations.

Multilevel Modeling

Multilevel modeling is a statistical technique used to analyze data that is nested within multiple levels. For example, researchers might use multilevel modeling to analyze data that is collected from individuals who are nested within groups, such as students nested within schools.

Applications of Quantitative Research

Quantitative research has many applications across a wide range of fields. Here are some common examples:

  • Market Research : Quantitative research is used extensively in market research to understand consumer behavior, preferences, and trends. Researchers use surveys, experiments, and other quantitative methods to collect data that can inform marketing strategies, product development, and pricing decisions.
  • Health Research: Quantitative research is used in health research to study the effectiveness of medical treatments, identify risk factors for diseases, and track health outcomes over time. Researchers use statistical methods to analyze data from clinical trials, surveys, and other sources to inform medical practice and policy.
  • Social Science Research: Quantitative research is used in social science research to study human behavior, attitudes, and social structures. Researchers use surveys, experiments, and other quantitative methods to collect data that can inform social policies, educational programs, and community interventions.
  • Education Research: Quantitative research is used in education research to study the effectiveness of teaching methods, assess student learning outcomes, and identify factors that influence student success. Researchers use experimental and quasi-experimental designs, as well as surveys and other quantitative methods, to collect and analyze data.
  • Environmental Research: Quantitative research is used in environmental research to study the impact of human activities on the environment, assess the effectiveness of conservation strategies, and identify ways to reduce environmental risks. Researchers use statistical methods to analyze data from field studies, experiments, and other sources.

Characteristics of Quantitative Research

Here are some key characteristics of quantitative research:

  • Numerical data : Quantitative research involves collecting numerical data through standardized methods such as surveys, experiments, and observational studies. This data is analyzed using statistical methods to identify patterns and relationships.
  • Large sample size: Quantitative research often involves collecting data from a large sample of individuals or groups in order to increase the reliability and generalizability of the findings.
  • Objective approach: Quantitative research aims to be objective and impartial in its approach, focusing on the collection and analysis of data rather than personal beliefs, opinions, or experiences.
  • Control over variables: Quantitative research often involves manipulating variables to test hypotheses and establish cause-and-effect relationships. Researchers aim to control for extraneous variables that may impact the results.
  • Replicable : Quantitative research aims to be replicable, meaning that other researchers should be able to conduct similar studies and obtain similar results using the same methods.
  • Statistical analysis: Quantitative research involves using statistical tools and techniques to analyze the numerical data collected during the research process. Statistical analysis allows researchers to identify patterns, trends, and relationships between variables, and to test hypotheses and theories.
  • Generalizability: Quantitative research aims to produce findings that can be generalized to larger populations beyond the specific sample studied. This is achieved through the use of random sampling methods and statistical inference.

Examples of Quantitative Research

Here are some examples of quantitative research in different fields:

  • Market Research: A company conducts a survey of 1000 consumers to determine their brand awareness and preferences. The data is analyzed using statistical methods to identify trends and patterns that can inform marketing strategies.
  • Health Research : A researcher conducts a randomized controlled trial to test the effectiveness of a new drug for treating a particular medical condition. The study involves collecting data from a large sample of patients and analyzing the results using statistical methods.
  • Social Science Research : A sociologist conducts a survey of 500 people to study attitudes toward immigration in a particular country. The data is analyzed using statistical methods to identify factors that influence these attitudes.
  • Education Research: A researcher conducts an experiment to compare the effectiveness of two different teaching methods for improving student learning outcomes. The study involves randomly assigning students to different groups and collecting data on their performance on standardized tests.
  • Environmental Research : A team of researchers conduct a study to investigate the impact of climate change on the distribution and abundance of a particular species of plant or animal. The study involves collecting data on environmental factors and population sizes over time and analyzing the results using statistical methods.
  • Psychology : A researcher conducts a survey of 500 college students to investigate the relationship between social media use and mental health. The data is analyzed using statistical methods to identify correlations and potential causal relationships.
  • Political Science: A team of researchers conducts a study to investigate voter behavior during an election. They use survey methods to collect data on voting patterns, demographics, and political attitudes, and analyze the results using statistical methods.

How to Conduct Quantitative Research

Here is a general overview of how to conduct quantitative research:

  • Develop a research question: The first step in conducting quantitative research is to develop a clear and specific research question. This question should be based on a gap in existing knowledge, and should be answerable using quantitative methods.
  • Develop a research design: Once you have a research question, you will need to develop a research design. This involves deciding on the appropriate methods to collect data, such as surveys, experiments, or observational studies. You will also need to determine the appropriate sample size, data collection instruments, and data analysis techniques.
  • Collect data: The next step is to collect data. This may involve administering surveys or questionnaires, conducting experiments, or gathering data from existing sources. It is important to use standardized methods to ensure that the data is reliable and valid.
  • Analyze data : Once the data has been collected, it is time to analyze it. This involves using statistical methods to identify patterns, trends, and relationships between variables. Common statistical techniques include correlation analysis, regression analysis, and hypothesis testing.
  • Interpret results: After analyzing the data, you will need to interpret the results. This involves identifying the key findings, determining their significance, and drawing conclusions based on the data.
  • Communicate findings: Finally, you will need to communicate your findings. This may involve writing a research report, presenting at a conference, or publishing in a peer-reviewed journal. It is important to clearly communicate the research question, methods, results, and conclusions to ensure that others can understand and replicate your research.

When to use Quantitative Research

Here are some situations when quantitative research can be appropriate:

  • To test a hypothesis: Quantitative research is often used to test a hypothesis or a theory. It involves collecting numerical data and using statistical analysis to determine if the data supports or refutes the hypothesis.
  • To generalize findings: If you want to generalize the findings of your study to a larger population, quantitative research can be useful. This is because it allows you to collect numerical data from a representative sample of the population and use statistical analysis to make inferences about the population as a whole.
  • To measure relationships between variables: If you want to measure the relationship between two or more variables, such as the relationship between age and income, or between education level and job satisfaction, quantitative research can be useful. It allows you to collect numerical data on both variables and use statistical analysis to determine the strength and direction of the relationship.
  • To identify patterns or trends: Quantitative research can be useful for identifying patterns or trends in data. For example, you can use quantitative research to identify trends in consumer behavior or to identify patterns in stock market data.
  • To quantify attitudes or opinions : If you want to measure attitudes or opinions on a particular topic, quantitative research can be useful. It allows you to collect numerical data using surveys or questionnaires and analyze the data using statistical methods to determine the prevalence of certain attitudes or opinions.

Purpose of Quantitative Research

The purpose of quantitative research is to systematically investigate and measure the relationships between variables or phenomena using numerical data and statistical analysis. The main objectives of quantitative research include:

  • Description : To provide a detailed and accurate description of a particular phenomenon or population.
  • Explanation : To explain the reasons for the occurrence of a particular phenomenon, such as identifying the factors that influence a behavior or attitude.
  • Prediction : To predict future trends or behaviors based on past patterns and relationships between variables.
  • Control : To identify the best strategies for controlling or influencing a particular outcome or behavior.

Quantitative research is used in many different fields, including social sciences, business, engineering, and health sciences. It can be used to investigate a wide range of phenomena, from human behavior and attitudes to physical and biological processes. The purpose of quantitative research is to provide reliable and valid data that can be used to inform decision-making and improve understanding of the world around us.

Advantages of Quantitative Research

There are several advantages of quantitative research, including:

  • Objectivity : Quantitative research is based on objective data and statistical analysis, which reduces the potential for bias or subjectivity in the research process.
  • Reproducibility : Because quantitative research involves standardized methods and measurements, it is more likely to be reproducible and reliable.
  • Generalizability : Quantitative research allows for generalizations to be made about a population based on a representative sample, which can inform decision-making and policy development.
  • Precision : Quantitative research allows for precise measurement and analysis of data, which can provide a more accurate understanding of phenomena and relationships between variables.
  • Efficiency : Quantitative research can be conducted relatively quickly and efficiently, especially when compared to qualitative research, which may involve lengthy data collection and analysis.
  • Large sample sizes : Quantitative research can accommodate large sample sizes, which can increase the representativeness and generalizability of the results.

Limitations of Quantitative Research

There are several limitations of quantitative research, including:

  • Limited understanding of context: Quantitative research typically focuses on numerical data and statistical analysis, which may not provide a comprehensive understanding of the context or underlying factors that influence a phenomenon.
  • Simplification of complex phenomena: Quantitative research often involves simplifying complex phenomena into measurable variables, which may not capture the full complexity of the phenomenon being studied.
  • Potential for researcher bias: Although quantitative research aims to be objective, there is still the potential for researcher bias in areas such as sampling, data collection, and data analysis.
  • Limited ability to explore new ideas: Quantitative research is often based on pre-determined research questions and hypotheses, which may limit the ability to explore new ideas or unexpected findings.
  • Limited ability to capture subjective experiences : Quantitative research is typically focused on objective data and may not capture the subjective experiences of individuals or groups being studied.
  • Ethical concerns : Quantitative research may raise ethical concerns, such as invasion of privacy or the potential for harm to participants.

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Muhammad Hassan

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IFERP Blog

The Significance Of Scientific Inquiry & Research In Engineering

The approaches to engineering research in many ways and the resulting knowledge about the characteristics of the material world are separate from those of fundamental scientific research. Nevertheless, there are significant discrepancies between the two applications. 

  • Scientific Research In A Nutshell

Basic scientific research is concerned with the discovery of new phenomena and their integration into understandable conceptual representations of primary material or physiological operations. Through interpretation, a fascinating focus of interest tends to exist at the limit of contemporary knowledge. Most scientific knowledge will encounter, in an extremely unsteady and irregular manner, technical applications of financial and cultural value, but in most circumstances, the essence of these relationships will not be obvious to those undertaking independent scientific research.

Have you carried out some great scientific research work and would like to make your work know? Then make use of the paper submission conference 2023 in Singapore – ICSET-2023 by registering and participating. 

  • Engineering Research In A Nutshell

Elementary engineering research involves the exploration and methodical conceptual structuring of knowledge. Engineers develop, design, produce or construct and use devices, structures, machines, and systems of economic and societal value. Virtually all engineering research is driven by the expected value of an application. However, not all potential applications can be anticipated, and sometimes the expected application may not be as important as the one that appears by chance. The time between research and production can be a few years, as in the development and application of a laser or in the progression from the integrated circuit to the microprocessor, or it can even take decades, as in the case of the development of television.

quantitative research is important to an engineer because

Knowledge Creation Is The Essence Of Research 

Engineering, unlike science, is concerned not only with knowledge of natural phenomena but also with how knowledge can serve the needs and desires of humanity. Variables such as cost, user compatibility, deliverability, safety, and adaptability to various external operating conditions and environments must be considered in the design, development, operational support, and maintenance of products and services that are created by engineers. Therefore, engineering entails the combination of expertise, procedures, processes, and know-how from multiple fields. In addition, almost all university research in science and engineering is carried out as part of the advanced training of students. For most engineering students 2023 , the goal of a career in industry motivates their pursuit of advanced studies, and this will increasingly be the case in the future. For this reason, engineering students’ perspectives on research tend to be predisposed to application in the practice of engineering.

Basic sciences and mathematics have advanced rapidly in recent decades with the development of computers capable of dealing with increasingly complex problems. At the same time, the art, experimentation, and application of engineering have adopted increasingly advanced analytical and experimental methods across the spectrum of engineering fields and industrial sectors. It has been observed that certain theoretical and experimental practices are common to both scientific and engineering research. In fact, in some fields of engineering, such as electronic materials, the analytical and experimental methods and instruments used may not be distinguished from those in the basic science fields of solid-state physics and chemistry.

The upcoming Singapore international conference titled the ‘International Conference on Science, Engineering & Technology (ICSET-2021)’, which is expected to be held on the 28th & the 29th of January, 2021 is a must-attend for all those wanting to delve deeper into the differences and individual intricacies of both engineering research and scientific research. 

The Role That Both These Streams Of Research Play

The main objectives of research work are to inform action, to gather evidence for theories, and to add to the progression of expertise in a field of study. Detailed below are all the many reasons why research in both engineering and science is important to everyone, not just students and scientists. 

  • Finding out why research is important seems obvious, but many people are avoiding it like the plague. Yet, for those who enjoy learning, whether or not they are members of a research institute, conducting research is not only important but also imperative.
  • It is a tool to develop knowledge and facilitate learning. Research is required not just for scholars and academics but likewise for all professionals and non-professionals. It is equally important for aspiring and veteran engineers.
  • For lay people who value learning, doing research equips them with essential consciousness about the universe and abilities to help them survive and enhance their lives. When it comes to research professionals themselves, on the other hand, finding something interesting to discuss and/or write about should go beyond just personal experience. Determining what the general public might want to know or what researchers want others to achieve or conceive of can be a valid reason to carry out research work. Thus, research is an essential component of knowledge production and vice versa.
  • Knowledge is generally described as a factual proposition in the mind of an individual. It basically refers to facts based on objective information and/or results of studies processed by the human brain. It can be obtained in different ways including reading books and articles, listening to experts, watching documentaries or investigative broadcasts, conducting scientific experiments, and interacting with others, talking to people, etc. Facts gathered during research can be checked against other sources to ensure their truthfulness and accuracy. Three types of knowledge have been identified, namely, procedural (skill or know-how), knowledge (familiarity), and propositional (description of a fact or a state of affairs).

The highly-anticipated, upcoming engineering and technology conference 2023 – ICSET-2021 will offer more clarity to those who wish to know more in detail about the role that both engineering research and scientific research have to play in our society. 

Why Is It Important To Encourage These Streams Of Research?

  • Improved Problem Solving & Conceptualization 

When tasked with finding a solution to a problem, research helps identify, assess, and collate all the technical information that one can find. This can be used to break down concepts into main ideas and then apply strategies and techniques that one may have learned to create workable solutions. This is where the research experience during one’s engineering and scientific education makes all the difference. Being able to differentiate and evaluate all data improves conceptualization, resulting in effective and efficient ideas.

  • Developing A Competitive Advantage

Research is a crucial element of innovation and a key element in developing a company’s competitive advantage. This is all the more important in the highly competitive business landscape of today, where consumers are constantly demanding more innovative and more dependable products. Everybody from Big Pharma firms and chemical manufacturers to automotive brands and tech companies as well as manufacturers is investing billions of dollars to stay ahead of the curve. After all, persistent research has helped convert many problems into profitable advanced products and technologies. More importantly, it prevents companies from making any risky investment choices. 

Do you want to gain this elusive competitive advantage? Then, you should attend a conference being organized by IFERP , titled the ‘ International Conference on Science, Engineering & Technology (ICSET-2021)’. This stellar event is set to take place in spectacular Singapore on the 28th & the 29th of January, 2021. 

  • Testing & Quality Assurance

Quality control holds paramount importance when it comes to developing a thriving brand that is capable of producing outcomes that satisfy or surpass consumer expectations. It furthermore constitutes the basis of an effective enterprise that reduces consumption and functions at extraordinary levels of productivity. Conversely, the lack of research can lead to unpleasant setbacks caused by dead ends or irreparable results. Simply put, branding, loyalty, and growth depend on the quality of your product and your research.

How To Spot High-Level Scientific & Engineering Research

Regardless of the types of research and studies , one thing that is important is that they all meet on a common ground of the experimental method they employ. In order for a work of engineering or scientific research to be considered high-quality, it has to meet the following criteria – 

  • The objective of the research work has to be explicitly outlined, and general theories should be used.
  • The research procedure used must be described in sufficient detail to make it possible for another researcher to be able to replicate the investigative work for the benefit of further improvement, preserving the flow of what has already been accomplished.
  • The methodical nature of research work must be intricately predetermined in order to produce results that are as objective as possible.
  • The researcher should candidly point out flaws in the design of procedures and estimate their effects on the results.
  • Data analysis should be adequate enough to reveal its importance, and the analytical methods used must be appropriate. The authenticity and dependability of the data should be checked carefully.
  • Outcomes should be constrained to those aided by the research data and limited to those for which the data provide an adequate basis.
  • A more powerful belief in research is warranted if the researcher is experienced, has a good research reputation, and is a person of integrity.
  • Extraordinary research is always characterized by the systematic manner in which the inquiry into a certain phenomenon has been carried out. This implies that the research is structured with specified steps to be taken in a specified order according to the well-defined set of rules.
  • The methodical nature of research work does not eliminate the need for creativity, but it does certainly reject the use of guesswork and intuition to arrive at conclusions.
  • Good research always makes abundant sense. This is indicative of the fact that research is guided by the rules of logic and reasoning. The logical process of induction and deduction are of great value in carrying out pioneering and groundbreaking research work that is capable of shaking the very foundations of contemporary knowledge and understanding.
  • Induction is the reasoning process used to understand a certain phenomenon, whereas deduction is the approach of rationalizing from an assumption to an outcome that follows from this very proposition. In actuality, logical reasoning is what gives both engineering and scientific research more meaning in the context of decision making.
  • Great research work is also always factual, meaning that research is essentially linked to one or more aspects of a real situation and deals with concrete data that provide a basis for the external validity of research results.
  • Top-quality research work is reproducible. This characteristic makes it possible to verify the results of the research by replicating the study and thus building a solid basis for decisions.

Problem-Solving – The Basis Of All Research

Engineers use their knowledge of science, mathematics, and relevant experience to find solutions adapted to a problem. Generating a suitable analytical model of a problem makes it possible for them to be able to analyze it (sometimes definitively) and to test the potential solutions. There are usually several reasonable solutions, so engineers should evaluate

the different design choices according to their virtues and choose the solution that best meets their demands. Statistics that have been gathered based upon the examination of a large number of patents suggest that trade-offs are at the heart of low-level engineering designs, while at a higher level, the best design is one that eliminates the core contradiction at the origin of the problem. Engineers usually attempt to premeditate how well their design specifications will perform, before proceeding to large-scale production.

They use, among other things – prototypes, models, simulations, destructive tests, non-destructive tests, and stress tests. Testing ensures that the products will perform as expected. Engineers like scientists and other tech professionals take their responsibility to produce successful designs seriously as expected and will not cause unintentional harm to the general public. Engineers generally include a safety factor in their designs to reduce the risk of failure. However, the higher the safety factor, the less efficient the design can be.

The forthcoming IFERP conference 2023 is guaranteed to help anyone who wishes to pursue a career in either engineering or scientific research gain a clear idea about exactly what these two streams of research are all about, why they are so valuable to modern society, and what makes for valuable research work. 

quantitative research is important to an engineer because

PHILO-notes

Free Online Learning Materials

Importance of Quantitative Research Across Fields

First of all, research is necessary and valuable in society because, among other things, 1) it is an important tool for building knowledge and facilitating learning; 2) it serves as a means in understanding social and political issues and in increasing public awareness; 3) it helps people succeed in business; 4) it enables us to disprove lies and support truths; and 5) it serves as a means to find, gauge, and seize opportunities, as well as helps in finding solutions to social and health problems (in fact, the discovery of COVID-19 vaccines is a product of research).

Now, quantitative research, as a type of research that explains phenomena according to numerical data which are analyzed by means of mathematically based methods, especially statistics, is very important because it relies on hard facts and numerical data to gain as objective a picture of people’s opinion as possible or an objective understanding of reality. Hence, quantitative research enables us to map out and understand the world in which we live.

In addition, quantitative research is important because it enables us to conduct research on a large scale; it can reveal insights about broader groups of people or the population as a whole; it enables researchers to compare different groups to understand similarities and differences; and it helps businesses understand the size of a new opportunity. As we can see, quantitative research is important across fields and disciplines.

Let me now briefly discuss the importance of quantitative research across fields and disciplines. But for brevity’ sake, the discussion that follows will only focus on the importance of quantitative research in psychology, economics, education, environmental science and sustainability, and business.

First, on the importance of quantitative research in psychology .

We know for a fact that one of the major goals of psychology is to understand all the elements that propel human (as well as animal) behavior. Here, one of the most frequent tasks of psychologists is to represent a series of observations or measurements by a concise and suitable formula. Such a formula may either express a physical hypothesis, or on the other hand be merely empirical, that is, it may enable researchers in the field of psychology to represent by a few well selected constants a wide range of experimental or observational data. In the latter case it serves not only for purposes of interpolation, but frequently suggests new physical concepts or statistical constants. Indeed, quantitative research is very important for this purpose.

It is also important to note that in psychology research, researchers would normally discern cause-effect relationships, such as the study that determines the effect of drugs on teenagers. But cause-effect relationships cannot be elucidated without hard statistical data gathered through observations and empirical research. Hence, again, quantitative research is very important in the field of psychology because it allows researchers to accumulate facts and eventually create theories that allow researchers in psychology to understand human condition and perhaps diminish suffering and allow human race to flourish.

Second, on the importance of quantitative research in economics .

In general perspective, the economists have long used quantitative methods to provide us with theories and explanations on why certain things happen in the market. Through quantitative research too, economists were able to explain why a given economic system behaves the way it does. It is also important to note that the application of quantitative methods, models and the corresponding algorithms helps to make more accurate and efficient research of complex economic phenomena and issues, as well as their interdependence with the aim of making decisions and forecasting future trends of economic aspects and processes.

Third, on the importance of quantitative research in education .

Again, quantitative research deals with the collection of numerical data for some type of analysis. Whether a teacher is trying to assess the average scores on a classroom test, determine a teaching standard that was most commonly missed on the classroom assessment, or if a principal wants to assess the ways the attendance rates correlate with students’ performance on government assessments, quantitative research is more useful and appropriate.

In many cases too, school districts use quantitative data to evaluate teacher effectiveness from a number of measures, including stakeholder perception surveys, students’ performance and growth on standardized government assessments, and percentages on their levels of professionalism. Quantitative research is also good for informing instructional decisions, measuring the effectiveness of the school climate based on survey data issued to teachers and school personnel, and discovering students’ learning preferences.

Fourth, on the importance of quantitative research in Environmental Science and Sustainability.

Addressing environmental problems requires solid evidence to persuade decision makers of the necessity of change. This makes quantitative literacy essential for sustainability professionals to interpret scientific data and implement management procedures. Indeed, with our world facing increasingly complex environmental issues, quantitative techniques reduce the numerous uncertainties by providing a reliable representation of reality, enabling policy makers to proceed toward potential solutions with greater confidence. For this purpose, a wide range of statistical tools and approaches are now available for sustainability scientists to measure environmental indicators and inform responsible policymaking. As we can see, quantitative research is very important in environmental science and sustainability.

But how does quantitative research provide the context for environmental science and sustainability?

Environmental science brings a transdisciplinary systems approach to analyzing sustainability concerns. As the intrinsic concept of sustainability can be interpreted according to diverse values and definitions, quantitative methods based on rigorous scientific research are crucial for establishing an evidence-based consensus on pertinent issues that provide a foundation for meaningful policy implementation.

And fifth, on the importance of quantitative research in business .

As is well known, market research plays a key role in determining the factors that lead to business success. Whether one wants to estimate the size of a potential market or understand the competition for a particular product, it is very important to apply methods that will yield measurable results in conducting a  market research  assignment. Quantitative research can make this happen by employing data capture methods and statistical analysis. Quantitative market research is used for estimating consumer attitudes and behaviors, market sizing, segmentation and identifying drivers for brand recall and product purchase decisions.

Indeed, quantitative data open a lot of doors for businesses. Regression analysis, simulations, and hypothesis testing are examples of tools that might reveal trends that business leaders might not have noticed otherwise. Business leaders can use this data to identify areas where their company could improve its performance.

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COMMENTS

  1. What Is Quantitative Research?

    Revised on June 22, 2023. Quantitative research is the process of collecting and analyzing numerical data. It can be used to find patterns and averages, make predictions, test causal relationships, and generalize results to wider populations.

  2. Why Is Quantitative Research Important?

    Researchers use quantitative methods to observe situations or events that affect people. 1 Quantitative research produces objective data that can be clearly communicated through statistics and numbers. We do this in a systematic scientific way so the studies can be replicated by someone else. The data is primarily used to: 2

  3. Quantitative Research

    Basic scientific research is concerned with the discovery of new phenomena and their integration into coherent conceptual models of major physical or biological systems. Basic engineering research is concerned with the discovery and systematic conceptual structuring of knowledge. Engineers develop, design, produce or construct, and operate devices, structures, machines, and systems of economic ...

  4. Quantitative research

    Quantitative research is a research strategy that focuses on quantifying the collection and analysis of data. [1] It is formed from a deductive approach where emphasis is placed on the testing of theory, shaped by empiricist and positivist philosophies. [1]

  5. Integrating quantitative and qualitative research methods to examine

    Engineering education researchers are increasingly integrating qualitative and quantitative research methods to study learning and retention in engineering. ... Our mixed method research experience highlights the importance of thinking iteratively between qualitative and quantitative data sources during the instrument development process ...

  6. Quantitative Methods and Experimental Research

    Summary This chapter reviews various quantitative and experimental research methods. The first section presents the basic principles and approaches of statistical analysis, such as descriptive analysis, inferential analysis, and hypothesis testing.

  7. Quantitative Research

    Quantitative research methods are concerned with the planning, design, and implementation of strategies to collect and analyze data. Descartes, the seventeenth-century philosopher, suggested that how the results are achieved is often more important than the results themselves, as the journey taken along the research path is a journey of discovery. . High-quality quantitative research is ...

  8. Technological University Dublin ARROW@TU Dublin

    research methods, from data acquisition, data analysis, sample size, validity and so on. The research found within engineering programs tends to grounded firmly in the positivist paradigm with a predominant dependence on the use of quantitative methodologies and methods. Even where qualitative research methods are used, the

  9. (PDF) Quantitative Research Principles and Methods for Human-Focused

    Quantitative research principles and methods for human-focused research in engineering design. In P. Cash, T. mediation effects, and moderation effects. between variables are discussed....

  10. PDF Considerations for Engineering Education Research Using Quantitative

    638. DOI: 10.4324/9781003287483-35 This chapter has been made available under a CC-BY-NC-ND license. But it seems important to wrestle with these challenges to ensure that we develop research

  11. A Practical Guide to Writing Quantitative and Qualitative Research

    INTRODUCTION. Scientific research is usually initiated by posing evidenced-based research questions which are then explicitly restated as hypotheses.1,2 The hypotheses provide directions to guide the study, solutions, explanations, and expected results.3,4 Both research questions and hypotheses are essentially formulated based on conventional theories and real-world processes, which allow the ...

  12. Quantitative Research: What It Is, Practices & Methods

    Quantitative research involves analyzing and gathering numerical data to uncover trends, calculate averages, evaluate relationships, and derive overarching insights. It's used in various fields, including the natural and social sciences. Quantitative data analysis employs statistical techniques for processing and interpreting numeric data.

  13. Quantitative Research

    Reproducibility: Because quantitative research involves standardized methods and measurements, it is more likely to be reproducible and reliable. Generalizability: Quantitative research allows for generalizations to be made about a population based on a representative sample, which can inform decision-making and policy development.

  14. What is Quantitative Research? Definition, Methods, Types, and Examples

    Quantitative research is the process of collecting and analyzing numerical data to describe, predict, or control variables of interest. This type of research helps in testing the causal relationships between variables, making predictions, and generalizing results to wider populations. The purpose of quantitative research is to test a predefined ...

  15. Quantitative Research

    Introduction. Quantitative research, in contrast to qualitative research, deals with data that are numerical or that can be converted into numbers. The basic methods used to investigate numerical data are called 'statistics'. Statistical techniques are concerned with the organisation, analysis, interpretation and presentation of numerical data.

  16. PDF Understanding Quantitative Research: A Brief Overview and Process Alek

    Large sample sizes: Quantitative research often involves large sample sizes to increase the statistical power of the study. 9. Quantifiable results: The results of quantitative research are often expressed in numerical terms, such as means, percentages, or correlations. 10. Standardization: Quantitative research often involves the use of ...

  17. Quality and Quantitative Approach in Engineering

    Quality and Quantitative Approach in Engineering Category:, , Last Updated: Pages: Download The objective of this paper is to propose a study and discussion on the use of quantitative and qualitative approaches in engineering research methods and design.

  18. The Significance Of Scientific Inquiry & Research In Engineering

    Engineering Research In A Nutshell; Elementary engineering research involves the exploration and methodical conceptual structuring of knowledge. Engineers develop, design, produce or construct and use devices, structures, machines, and systems of economic and societal value. Virtually all engineering research is driven by the expected value of ...

  19. Quora

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  20. (PDF) Importance of Research in Engineering

    Importance of Research in Engineering. January 2003; DOI:10.13140 ... Join ResearchGate to discover and stay up-to-date with the latest research from leading experts in Engineering and many other ...

  21. Importance of Quantitative Research Across Fields

    Importance of Quantitative Research Across Fields. First of all, research is necessary and valuable in society because, among other things, 1) it is an important tool for building knowledge and facilitating learning; 2) it serves as a means in understanding social and political issues and in increasing public awareness; 3) it helps people ...

  22. What is the importance of quantitative research in engineering?

    The importance of quantitative research in engineering is quantitative research is of importance because it is very much needed in the field of research using methods and ranging from mathematical techniques, statistics, and also data analysis to collect, handle, interpret, and predict various features of the field of science and technology, for...